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tv   Mosaic World News  LINKTV  May 22, 2012 11:30am-12:00pm PDT

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( musi) rrat in99 the national galler ofrtn washington of the dea of the painter sir anthy van dyck with an extraordinary exhibition of about 100 paiings and oil sketches, gather from collections around t world. born in 1599, van dyck's remarkable career took him from his native flanders to italy, and then to england as court painter to charles i, before the artist's death there in 1641.
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reesentethll range o van dyck's artistic creation, which allowed us to realize thimposing sle of many of his compositions, react to the sensuous color, and perceive the touch of the artist in the rich brushwork. the painngs themselves came alive. in this program, we'll try to recreate the experience of the exhibition itself, moving through the various phases of van dyck's career and discovering his magnificent art. van dyck's earliest family portrait sets the stage for our look at the artist's life and work. itas painted in 1619 in anerp, when v dyck was only about 20 yearsld. in this close-knit group, we sense intimacy and informality. the child looks up at h father, who leans protectively toward his young wife and daughter. this deep sympathy for families would be one of van dyck's great contributions to the art of portraiture. in 1609, when van dyck was only 10 years old,
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he apprenticed with a painter in his native city of antwerp in the southern netherlands. by the time he was 16, his skill and talent allowed him to join the workshop of the leading artist of the day, peter paul rubens. rubens' complex compositions, such as these with their sculpturally modeled figures, greatly influenced the young artist. but even in van dyck's earliest works we see the artist's own distinctive style emerging. he painted this scene of st. jerome when heas about 16. instead of the heroic figures of rubens, van ck chose to show the hermit saint as a man past s prime. though van dyck based his composition on a work by rubens, the young artist pated it differently, applying his paint thickly with rough, broken strokes, exaggerating the naturalism of the biblical scene.
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in another version of the same subject painted just a few years later, van dyck portrays st. jerome in yet a different manner. in a moment of deep religious fervor, the saint is about to strike his chest in penance ( oir singing ) this intesin psyogical intensity, human emotis, and cral moments wou mark dyck's wo ughout his career. van dyck again looked to a work by rubens for inspiration. but once again, he interpreted the story in his own manner. van dyck chose t represent the moment just before the philistine clips samson's hair and robs him of his strength as delilah and the oer conspirators watch anxiously.
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the composition may have seemed too compressed to a later owner: a strip was added along the upper edge to enlarge the pictorial space, effectively releasing some themoonal energy the scene. in this exhibition, we discovered that changes were often made to van dyck's works. another ofhe artt's early religious paintings, "moses and the brazen serpent," was also altered, as we can see by comparing the size and format of the painting to a contemporary copy. compositional changes were also made by the paintehimself. these pentimenti can be seen in van dyck's "martyrdom of st. sebasan." by looking close, it is possible to see a vague indication of the rider's foot as the artist originally placed it. diovering this change help to establish t authenticity of this oil sketch and to identify it as van dyck's preliminary study.
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sho the original position of t soldier's foo over tim the surface paint became translucent, alwihe artist's earlier solution to become vible. in 1620, v dyck spent four mons in england. there, he painted portits, such as is fanciful allegocal image on his return to antwerp, he painted these portraits, which once again revealed the young artist's sympathy for children and his unique sensitivity to the psychological character of his sitters. van dyck painted this portrait of rubens' wife a parting gt hior, settg r against the italianate y tir garden. inhe fall of 1621, van dyck left twerp snd six yrs in ital
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in italy e poic compositions and rich brushwork of the 16th-century master titian appealed to the flemish artist, as did his penetrating portraits. in a sketchbook that he kept as he traveled, van dyck recorded works by the venetian artist. these drawings would later provide ideas and inspiration. the influence titian had on van dyck's interpretation of the figure is evident in van dyck's painting of george gage, an englishman whs in ity to acquire worksf art. gage's by not froal but inead turns in spa, making the composition bold and lifelike. the artist's own character and his attitude toward his ar are revealed in this marvous self-portrait, painted shortly after van dyck's arrival iitaly. as a contemporary wrote,
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"his manners were more of an aristocrat and he was resplendent in his rich dress and accessories." the young painter looks out at us, self-assured, certain of his position and confident in his ambitions. during his stay in the prosperous port city of genoa, van dyck received nurous commissions from its patrician society for portraits, as well as for mythological and allegorical es. thesare infused with a rical quality ve different from compositions hhad made elegce and grace learned from titian marked theortraits van dyck created araize genoese patrons, inuding his remarkable image the marchesa lena grimaldi. the marchesa seems to stride o onto patio. van dyck intduces a new sense of movemt to whahad a traditionof rigid.
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van dyck's genoese portraits were intended to be hung up high, over doors in palaces. because they were viewed from a distance, the artist painted them very thinly and very quickly. here, van dyck suggests the intricate fabric of theoung b'stume inoarokeofe, painted directly over the ochre ground. the mothern ofe solemn and. the boy poses confidently, yeevenis aristoatic portrt van dyck introduces a delicate tenderness. at the end of 1627, van dyck returned to antwerp. the portraits he painted during this period reflect the solid bourgeois character theitrs. thevan dyck's portraitsect, reve stle aspectstime
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of his sitters' complex personalities. in paired portraits, he explores the noti between huands and wives, and, once again, the relationship between parents and children. a wonderful naturalism marks van dyck's paintings during ts period. thfigures veryh alive. this portrait of the butiful maria uisae tais is infused with an air of ease and informality. her marvelous, captivating gaze conveys the vibrancy and warmth of her being. this effect of immediacy is underscored by van dyck's fluid brushwork, the way he paints her fashionable costume--
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the slit sleeve and the delicate ribbons large-scale religious works were in demand by chches in antwerp, where the counter-reformatio had a ronghold anart s met inspire deep invvement in one's faith. in this large altarpiece, vadyck chose to focus on st. augustins reaction to his mystical vision. thsaint els ck, experiencing a moment of religious ecstasy before a vision of the holy trinity. by the wonderful angels that hover above holding symbols of god's power, uny and eternity. van dyck's religious works from this period
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encourage devotion with their intimate, tender images. intimacy and tendeess soinfuse, "rindo and armida." inspired by a 16th-century epic poem, the artist again chose to represent a romantic ratrthan . a water nymph has lulled one of the warriors to sleep with her singing. armida, a sorcess from the underworld, sweeps in to kill the helpless hero, but instead she falls deeply in love. commissioned in 29 the work commemorated e 'sriage.
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van dyck was invited to england. inngland, van dyck created works that conveyed the king's role as divine monarch and that, with his french queen henrietta maria, omoted an image of peace and harmony. in this double portrait of the king and queen, henrietta maria offers charles the laurel wreath of victory. she lds an oli sprrepresen e these symbols alluded to the stability of theireign. an unusual portrait representing the monarch from three different positions was intended to be sent to the italian sculptor gian lorenzo bernini as a model for a bust of the king. not onlyn the sensitive characterization of the kin, t also in trtment ofhe erateostumes.
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the thrert comsition seems to be infused with religious symbolism. it suggests the holy trinity's three persons in one god and conveys charles' claim to rule by divine right. in london, van dyck established large workshop to produce the enormous numb of portraits demanded by thcrow he also worked for other members of the court and aristocracy paintings of the earl of arundel, robert rich, and james stuart reflect the ambitions of van dyck's patrons as well as the courtly ideals of the time. in 1634, the artist returned toheouthernetherlands, hoping for more prtigious histy commissions
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and perhaps an appntment as court painter. there, he produced this magnificent equestrian portrait of the provisional governor,th. a re introspective character pervades an image the prince's advisor the abbe scalia. van dyck portrays him as a commanding individual, experienced yet world-weary. at the artist's busy workshop, subjects posed for only a short time. they would leave behind costumes or armor so van dyck could complete the painting at his own convenience. around the head of scalia, we can see a kind of halo marking the area the artist painted from life. scalia himself commissionedthin as an alrpce for a urch in antwerp. it is van dyck's last surviving religious painting. in a conricted format, he presents the dead body of christ and captures the full pathos of mary's intense sorrow.
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ter spending about a year in fl van dyck returned to england in 1635 to resume his responsibilities as court painter forharles i. the tist chose an unusual oval format to emphasize the bond betwn enon porter...and himself. suggting the firmfoundatior lostanng fridship. van dyck's onlremaining mythological work from his english period,
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probably painted for the king and queen, is this wonderful poetic image representing the myth of cupid and psyche. psyche, a beautiful mortal, was sent by venus to the underworld to meet with persephone and bring back a box containing the secrets of her beauty. when the curious psyche opened the lid, she fellnto a deathlike trance van dyck depicts the moment cupid discovers her and reacs down to wipe the sleep from her eyes. psilawake to fall in love with cupid one of the most poignant of all of van dyck's paintings isiesh porait ofwoen brought togher to share a tragic ss. om kilgrew rests his arm on the base a broken column,
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symbol of foitude and deh. in her memore bounr wedding ring to s ist and pinned cross over h hrt. in an image as eloquent as an elegiac sonnet, van dyck includes the wife's brother in the composition, as if to offer solace to killegrew in his deepest grief. van dyck portrayedhe english court it saw itself, but the court's ideals gave way to harsh realities. by the end of the 1630s, scotland was in revolt and the rule of charles i was threatened. ofan dycs last works prests theosen by charles the earl of strafford. shortly after van dyck completed this work in the spring of 1640,
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the political situation in england reached a cris. in 1641, the roy familywas fore the earl of strafford was executed and civil war broke out. van dyck, himself in ill health, died later that same year at the age of only 42. the artist's legacy, his elegant portraits the ialtic english urt ancourtiers-- van dyck's mos faus works-- would influence painters for generaons. here we have discovere only a few of the paintings from van dyck's remarkable career: ambitious compositio fmhis ear; works produced durg his six-year sojourn in italy, marked by th elegance and grace;
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magnificent religious paintings for the english king charles i, tender mytholol works; as well as images that served to define the english court for future generations. van dyck's portraits revealed the artist's unique sensitivity to the character of his sitters, his ability to capture the innocence of children, and to suggest bonds between family members. the exhibition itsel revealed how very rich the artistic legacy of the flemish master, in fact, is and has allowed us to truly appreciate in a new way the contribution of this great master, sir anthony van dyck. ( music )
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